Striped Bass Pale Ale | Devils Backbone Brewing Company

38 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Striped Bass Pale AleStriped Bass Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Thorpe429 on 05-09-2012

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 201
Photo of 7ate9
1.72/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Nice, pale gold with head that falls to film fast but what is left leaves nice lacing.
Very low aroma
what is there is not all pleasing. Slight herbal qualities. Mostly grainy, wet husky, old grain. Wet dog. Not very good.
Taste is equally low. Grassy hops are the primary flavor. Finish is wet grain and wet dog. Bitterness is out of balance.
Like all of their beers I've tried, this has a very spritzy, soda-like feel.
This is bland, unbalanced, has no hop aroma nor flavor, and smells a whole lot like wet dog. Avoid

 521 characters

Photo of mattsdenney
1.96/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bomber brought down by my sis in law.

A: pours a light gold, clear and transparent. Thick bubbly head with good lacing.

S: smells of light grains, corn, hints of strawberries. No hop scent to speak of.

T: light flavors of grassy hops, adjunct grains, white bread, and light malt. No aftertaste whatsoever. Very mild flavoring, underwhelming.

M: smooth, slick, and light bodied. Pretty refreshing.

O: nothing mind blowing here, pretty average and bland all around.

 469 characters

Photo of tlazaroff
2.78/5  rDev -17%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Grain is the only aroma I get. It smells like grain cereal (cheerios, grape nuts), and it's appealing to me whatsoever.

Perfectly straw yellow with a clarity to match. Crisp white head that sticks it's lacing to the glass. It is a great looking beer.

Flavor is a bit better than the aroma- there is still grain, but it also has a light kind of herbal quality to it. It's well balanced against the bitterness. Mouthfeel is light and bubbly with moderate carbonation. Smooth drinking though, and refreshing. I wouldn't buy it again, but if it was bought for me I wouldn't turn it down.

 585 characters

Photo of bft1
2.88/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this one few times. Brewery is nearby here in Va. Light, crisp touch of pine resin flavor. No head, bubbly. Overall better than the awful DB lager, which seems to be everywhere around here some unknown reason. Nothing special but I'd certainly not turn one down if offered.

 283 characters

Photo of billab914
2.88/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into my Devil's backbone glass. Bright golden color with a thin white head barely covering the top. Very clear and clean looking, but the head faded rather quickly.

The aroma shows a mix of wet grains and toasted malts. It's got a good amount of crisp and tart fruits to it with notes of both apple and grape coming out. It's light, crisp and somewhat tart. It feels a lot more like a light lager than a Pale Ale though unfortunately.

The taste shows a little more of the toasted malts to it. Again, the crisp and tart fruits play a big role in it throughout. I'm getting a little bit of a herbal, peppery hop presence, but it's reminding me more of an European style lager rather than an APA.

The mouthfeel is light with moderate carbonation. Overall, I wasn't very impressed with this beer. It tasted more like an little heavier and bolder light lager than an APA to me. It just didn't compare very well to most other APA's on the shelves in my opinion and it felt too big and heavy to compete with the light lager beers I thought it was more similar to. The hop profile particularly seemed very off for my preference in the style. I love DB's beers, this one however just didn't work for me at all.

 1,225 characters

Photo of cjgiant
2.93/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap- quick thoughts, not likely to be re-reviewed:
Pours a nice golden color with a lovely white head that is fluffy and provides nice lacing. Too bad it's the highlight.
Nose is grass and metallic. Taste is similar, with a light astringency added. For me, not very appetizing.
Light to medium body, nice carbonation, dry bitter tug near end.
Beer reminded me of a macro import lager too much. Might be a nice first step beer for some, but not a winner in my book.

 471 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very mediocre Pale Ale. On as beer scale of "Budweiser to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale" this beer grades out a lot closer to Bud. Looks pretty good. Nice clear golden color, with a smallish white head. Minimal patches of filmy lacing and average head retention.

Smell is a little grassy hops, not much else. Taste has mild biscuity malt and a little grassy hops. Did not taste crappy adjunct materials but the overall flavor was weak and bland.

Mouthfeel is thin like an adjunct lager with a little crispness from the grassy hops.

On the whole a very average lawnmower beer.

 571 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.06/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Adam for the can.

The beer is clear and pale golden with an inch of dense white head. The aroma offers some biscuit malts, pine, hops, a touch of floral notes. The scent is fine enough. A bit muted, but what's there is ok. Smooth and easy drinking. Balanced with a mild bitterness in the back. An unoffensive middle of the road pale ale.

 348 characters

Photo of jmaharaj
3.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a dull yellow but with a beautiful rocky head that creates a mountain range atop the beer. Smells mostly of diacetyl. Taste is boring, some off flavors with a little citrusy hop peeking through. Body is fine although the carbonation could be a tad more aggresive. The other hoppy beer i got from the same store was dull too. Maybe their stock has been sitting around a while, if not this beer is maybe average.

 416 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.1/5  rDev -7.5%

Appearance: on the orangish side of straw yellow color. a finger of an off white head that fades quickly but leaves a pretty strong lacing along the base of the glass. fairly strong clarity and easy to see through but not quite perfectly clear. 3.75/5

Smell: strong crystal sweetness, along with a extremely grassy hoppy smell. Hops notes of citrus and pine mainly, comes off slightly earthy due to the grassiness. 3/5

Taste: opens with sweet and light cara/crystal malts. a slightly dull transition to again a grassy hop taste. faint notes of pine and citrus. 3/5

Mouthfeel: light to medium body. some lingering bitterness. overall the balance between sweet and bitter isn't quite as sharp as I'd like. they blend together a bit too much. 3.25/5

Overall: I think this one is a bit too strong on the light crystals and something about the hops makes it just too grassy for my tastes.

 888 characters

Photo of delta490
3.12/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful deep gold, tinting to amber. There is a nice creamy-ish white head that settles down and leaves some sticky lacing. The aroma is very mild, with just some light hints of malt. You've got to really dig in to find it. The flavor is much more of a let-down. There is barely any, frankly. It's quite close to water, actually, with all but the lightest hint that barley was used in the production. The body has a nice weight but there is too much carbonation on the finish. Wish this one was more like their others.

 528 characters

Photo of qchic
3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Happy to see another brewery canning--and from my home state! It poured pale gold with a nice white cap. Aroma is subdued with earthy hops and hints of lemon rind. Flavor is also subdued, but not unpleasant. Definitely lighter overall than I was expecting, but as I make the most of this one, I do find nice subtle melon and clove flavors intermittent with cereal grain and hop bitterness on the tail end of things. Probably not one to incorporate into my normal rotation, but maybe a sessionable option when it's hot out.

 522 characters

Photo of KMcG
3.21/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler purchased from the brewery a few hours ago. The color is a clear straw yellow and it has a nice 2 finger head that dissipates quickly to no lacing.  A small rime of head rims the glass. 

The smell is honey, slight citrus hops and malty.

The taste is well balanced with some lemon and bready character.  It's crisp, but leaves a doughy quality in the aftertaste. 

The beer is light, easy to drink, and refreshing.  

Overall, this beer is one that I would seek out for a summer day.  I wish the hops were a bit stronger as is more typical with APA.  

 581 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours gold, with moderate carbonation and 1/4 inch had. Taste is herbal hops and English pale malt. Above average pale ale, but nothing I would rush out to get again.

 168 characters

Photo of obywan59
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Yellow against my white review screen, but golden orange against my walls. 1 1/2 finger whitish head that leaves decent lacing. Carbonation is evident.

Light but nice floral/herbal and citric "bouquet" Over ripe citrus mainly. Occasionally a whiff of vanilla.

Light sweet malt upfront but bitter citrus rind then dominates. A bit of lemony citrus punches through next, before grapefruit rind rises through the finish.

Light in body, highly carbonated early on, but it then settles down a little. Somewhat drying with a light stickiness. Burn of carbonation in the throat.

An okay beer. Overbalanced to the bitter in my opinion. I would freely drink it again if it was offered me, but I probably wouldn't go in search of it.

 727 characters

Photo of m_hall
3.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz can into a nonic pint. Clear gold and topped by an inch-tall fluffy white head. Light lacing.

Aroma is lightly malty, with a bit of grassy herbal hops, fairly subtle.

Flavor is light caramel malt sweetness on the front, a bit of biscuit, with lemony notes from the hops coming in after. The finish is dry and a bit astringently bitter, a little soap-y.

Mouthfeel is medium, just slightly chewy. No alcohol is perceptible.

A pretty standard APA, solid, but not particularly memorable. A portion of the proceeds from each purchase do go towards the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, so at least your beer habit can support a good cause with this one.

 672 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.27/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bomber into a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a golden straw color with a two finger white head. The head fades very fast to leave only a very light level of lacing.

Smell- The aroma is light overall with some toasted malt and a grainy smell. Mixed with these are some lighter notes of a citrus hop nature.

Taste – The taste begins with a more dry bready flavor up front. There is light citrus hop very near the start which grows stronger at the middle only to fade more toward the end. While the citrus hop flavor diminished from the middle to the end, herbal and grassy hop flavors grow stronger on the tongue. In the end a crisp and lightly bittered grassy/herbal flavor are left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium to light side with a carbonation level that is medium to slightly above medium. The mouthfeel couple with the flavors of the brew create a rather crisp and easy drinking beer.

Overall - Nothing all that extraordinary here. Overall it is a decent APA with a more crisp taste and feel.

 1,054 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
3.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Golden straw colored body with a stick, fluffy bone-white head. Looks as clear as a pilsner.

S- Hops are apparent, citrus and fresh grass come through along with a toasted malt aroma. Not overwhelming, but overall pretty pleasant.

T- Pretty light on flavor, with the toasted malt coming through the most and only a little bit of the citrus and grassy hops. Slight hint of grapefruit in the middle as well, but more on the malty side overall.

M- As the appearance would indicate, I found this one to be on the watery side. Medium carbonation and certainly drinkable, but very thin.

O- This would be a good summer beer for a can, but overall a pretty average pale ale.

 673 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz can. Pours a crystal clear pale gold with a big frothy bright-white head. This leaves back huge sticky swathes of sudsy lace. Smells grassy and citric with some soft doughy malt along the back. The taste has a bit more going on with it, being grassy and pithy feeling with a resinous edge. Light notes of herbal and tropical fruit character, as well as some bready malt, helps soften the hops a bit. Bitterness and pine stick to the tongue on the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a mellow crispness to the carbonation which glides well. This was OK. The nose could have given up a bit more but it definitely had some decent assertive hoppiness going on. You could do worse than packing some cans of this along on a trip.

 736 characters

Photo of hmph
3.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to a pint glass.

A - transparent yellow with some darker edges, small stark white head that quickly fades, small ring left on the edges

S - strong lemongrass type smell, lots of 'light' grain smell, and oddly a bit of 'mustiness' , not off putting but not super inviting either

T - Lets start with the good, it is light and crisp and fairly easy to drink, however there is a bit of funkiness in there, some buttery aspects as well, finish is more of a sourdough than a bitterness, and it lingers a bit

O - well, I really like Devils Backbone but this one missed the mark, tastes like they forgot to add the hops, or maybe it is just out of balance, even for a British style 'APA' it leaves much more to be desired.

 737 characters

Photo of vabeerguy
3.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a nonic glass. The color was a slightly hazy orange/yellow. The smell was somewhat light. I enjoyed the taste. It is exactly what I expected from a pale ale.

 184 characters

Photo of tone77
3.44/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a light golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is kind of mild, a touch of hops. Taste is light, refreshing, hops, a bit of malts, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall would be a good beer on a hot afternoon.

 268 characters

Photo of Pantalones
3.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Second can found being sold individually at a local Kroger; can't find a date stamp so I'm not sure how old this is.

Pours pale yellowish; once in the glass it's a pretty nice golden color, very shiny and mostly clear. Perhaps the "palest" pale ale I've ever seen; most that I've had seem to hover in the medium orangey-gold to light orangey-brown range instead. Foam on top is not huge, but definitely present and hangs around for a while (though it does shrink fairly quick, it leaves a thin layer on top and a ring around the edge for a while; there's a bit of that ring and a couple of tiny "islands" of foam left even as I'm nearing the end of the glass.) Lots of bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass, which never quite seem to stop coming. There's a neat little fish on the can, and the can design overall is pretty nice-looking. Overall, looks pretty nice!

Smell is definitely not as hoppy as I'd expect from an American-style pale ale. I'm mostly smelling a bready sort of thing here, and even that's not all that strong. Maybe the faintest bits of a grassy or leafy hop thing (when I had my first can yesterday I got very slight lemony scent here and there, too) but mostly bread. Not at all a bad smell, just a little underwhelming, especially considering that it's classified as an American pale ale which are supposed to lean more hoppy.

Taste is better than the smell; a very nice dry crackery sort of malt flavor going on and something that reminds me of a bread crust, along with some noticeable hop bitterness (the bitterness is actually the first thing my taste buds pick up on, interestingly.) Not a lot of hop flavor to go along with the bitterness, though, which is unfortunate. Occasionally a faint trace of that leafy/grassy earthy sort of thing, building up a little more as I drink (starting from "barely there" and gradually becoming slightly more present), with some pine coming out in burps. The malt side of this beer's flavor is pretty good but it's pretty weak in the hops department. I wonder if maybe this is a somewhat old can and the hops have faded as a result, but since there's no date on it, it's hard to even guess.

The feel is a definite positive to this one. It's light but not watery, fizzy but not prickly, and very easy to drink quickly -- my "sips" drinking this are more like small gulps.

Overall, I'm not all that impressed with this one -- it's not *bad* by any means, and that crackery/biscuity/bread-crust malt flavor in particular I really liked, but it's a bit lacking when it comes to hop flavor and as a result doesn't really compare to most of the other pale ales I've had. I was kinda hoping for a bit more than what was there, and am glad I picked up just two stray cans rather than a full six-pack (though, for the price I paid for these two cans it was great -- the equivalent of $4.89 for a six-pack... I seriously doubt any other beer available at that price would be as good as this was.) Of course, it's possible the cans I got were old ones that Kroger was trying to unload to replace with the new shipment -- I may try this again in the future if I find some that's definitely fresh.

 3,178 characters

Photo of DaveBlack
3.46/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Straw colored beer, a fluffy head of maybe 1/2 an inch. There is moderate retention and some light lacing.

S: Cereal grains, and a slight biscuity aroma. Honestly, not much here, and it smells a little like an adjunct lager.

T: Fortunately, the taste is nothing like an adjunct lager. The hops take center stage right from the beginning with a heavy dose of citrus. The grains are there, enough to balance out the moderate hoppiness, but not much more. The finish is grainy, and slightly metallic.

M: Moderate body, slightly oily, with a fair amount of carbonation.

O: Not a beer that I would seek out. It tastes better than it smells, but the taste isn't anything special and the metallic finish is slightly off-putting. A decent beer, perhaps even a good beer, but no more.

 782 characters

Photo of OldSwampy
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap 10 June 2016 at the Devil's Backbone Outpost north of Lexington, Virginia.

Straw beer with a white head. Nose dominated by mild leafy hops, not particularly strong. Taste profile: the hops rise and fall smoothly over a lean malt base, but rather uncomplicated overall. Leaves a lightly oily, bitter aftertaste. Nothing out of character with the style, just not too exciting. Hard to find anything more than 3.5 scores across the board here. Competent, but I know this place makes more exciting beers. On the other hand, for fun I would like to do a blind comparison with this, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and one or two other "true" pale ales.

 647 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Striped Bass Pale Ale from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
3.35 out of 5 based on 201 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.